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tv   CQ Roll Call on the future  CSPAN  August 25, 2013 5:15pm-6:01pm EDT

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a lot of stuff they had dates back to the 80's and 90's and they need to get those things moving on. very high operations tempo over the last 10, 12 years with wars in iraq and afghanistan. host: what is the cost of this project, and how does that compare to costs from previous play the united states has undertaken to build? guest: somewhere around $400 billion give or take. there is some been -- there have been some decline in the cost and the actual lifetime operation sustainment costs had recently been reported about 1.1 trillion dollars, which is something like 30% higher than anybody would have hoped. they have been able to knock that down about 22% because that they have gone into the flight test program, they are learning more and more about the systems and how they work and what breaks more often, what brings less, and how many people are required to fly the lanes and so on. those types of things are giving them more granularity as to their cost. host: have there been concerns about cost overruns for this project? guest: significant. it was supposed to cost for the entire program of 2443 we roughly production fighters $400
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billion. the actual cost of the plan itself was ejected originally in the $60 billion, now it is about $161 billion give or take. host: are there problems with the plane? guest: by the way, $161 million per plane. while they have had to level off some problem, based on software problems. millions of dollars that they need to do, and whole bunch of flight testing they need to be doing. they are still making changes to tooling, some of the things we're going to buy something 289 planes before this flight test program is done, so over the next 10 years, we could be spending upwards of $2 billion
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just a re-outfitting be plain that are sitting on the flight line right now. host: frank oliveri joins us until 9:15 to talk about the f- 35 fighter. we have questions about it not only from your viewpoint and interest in it but also maybe you are in active or retired military and want to give your thoughts on as well. here is the line, how we have divided them this morning if you want to participate. for republicans, (202) 585-3881, for democrats, (202) 585-3880, for independents, (202) 585- 3882. if you are active or retired military and you want to get your thoughts on it, [no audio] --(202) 585-3883. you can also send us tweets @cspanwj. there is a term fly before you buy.
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or fly as you buy, is what i'm thinking of, but tell us about how this plane is being produced and how it meets with everything else we have been talking about. guest: there is a term called concurrency, and acquisition term that basically means that we have been developing a plane, and at the same time, we are learning and developing a plan and the subsequent technologies that make the plan work and work together all the systems, we are also producing the planet is integrity that overlap of production and development -- they're trying to stretch this out more so they have stretched the program out because there were so many development approach -- developmental problems, and the integration together one platform. this plane was on paper 12 years ago. never existed before. if you break those lines up, if you overlap, but we have known this for many years, it is
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amazing in washington and dod and congress, we learn lessons and seem to forget them and then we relearn the same kind of lessons. the definition of insanity, you know. right now they are trying to break up those lines a little bit. they are forced to get planes going. it also drives down cost to get the production line, but it also comes with enormous risk because why are you are producing planes, if you had to change the retooling, everything has to stop in it to restart all these things and then the people doing the work need to relearn how to do certain things. so there is an enormous risk in doing it in any kind of acquisition program where there is high concurrency. host: what if the company producing the plane? guest: lockheed martin. the largest defense contractor in the states. it built the f-22 fighter. severely truncated. host: what was the argument they used to get this contract? guest: they are the preeminent stealth developer. you will hear the term fifth- generation fighter. these fighters have changed warfare for us. they have made our fighters -- we have always been a preeminent predominant force and air power
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since world war ii. but these stealth characteristics did change warfare from 1991 straight through to today, our opponents are having to adjust to these types of technologies. they have been very effective. host: we will continue on our conversation about this plane and its role in u.s. military and other uses. first, your calls. debbie is joining us from indiana, democrats line. you're on with frank oliveri of cq roll call, good morning. caller: good morning. how much do you think it would hurt to fund something in profits if journalists like yours wrote about the 705 feet in freefall on 9/11 and the evidence that preplanned explosives destroyed it. guest: well, there are all kinds of conspiracy theories about that. i don't actually subscribe to any of them.
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i think with the government has said about what has happened and what law enforcement and military officials have said about what happened are accurate. i don't think that there was some kind of conspiracy. host: monty asks -- do we need the f-35? it seems old jets were doing well in the bombing the world's poorest of the poor. guest: aside from motive, the actual fighter itself, there is a pretty significant debate as to whether or not the f-35 is the end all be all of the sole answer to our fighter problem because we are in a -- look, this is a problem that innocence was created by the services. they put all their eggs in this basket. they were warned in the 1990's that they probably could not afford to buy the f-22 and the f-35 at the same time because the costs were so severe. but the issue today is that the united states' tactical fighter forces aging and has aged much faster than anticipated because we mandate no-fly zone over iraq
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for 10 years, and then we went into a war in afghanistan, and shortly thereafter a war in iraq. these planes have been used very heavily. that is the first call that comes out is where is the air force if there is a problem? any kind of military complex, they always talk about the use of military power. these are very heavily-used planes. some are very old. the a-10's are upwards of 30 years old. the jump jets at these plans would replace are rather old. some of the f-16's in the air force inventory are getting old. f-15's also cleared a lot of planes that this would replace are definitely growing old. whether you need 2443 of these very high-end stealth fighters versus some of those planes and a mix of these lower income a very -- lower-end claims, yes, defenses in the world are very cheap alternative, and they are becoming more and more
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sophisticated to the degree that you can't penetrate some of these air defenses with f-16's and f-18's and expect that many of those planes will to write. it is a very challenging environment. the stealth is the environment a advantage. host: first the air force, then the navy, then the marines buying the planes as well. other countries involved. guest: some nine nations. lockheed martin and the united states hoped that other nations walls lay by f-35's just as they got f-16's for years and years. they are very capable planes. the air force hopes that air force, navy, and marine corps hope that over the life of the program, the more nations that buy it, the more you buy the unit cost of the plane go down.
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host: here's is a look at some of the countries involved. mark from new jersey up next, retired military. caller: maybe your guest can a slightly how the a-35 could take the place of the a-10 warthog in combat. when you look back at the b-52's that have been around for 50 something years and its specific role and content julie -- and continuously upgraded, you have got the a-10 what that vulcan cannon in a, which is low and slow over the battlefield in protecting the troops, how can he f-35 come that low-end phone loan provide a much cover power? guest: i did a story recently because of the senate armed service committee was associated
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with its defense authorization bill, had lingered on the issue of close air support. there was concern, senator bill nelson of florida who have actual interest in the f-35, was raising the concern as to whether or not there will be a close air support cap created by retiring the a-10's and replacing them with the f-35, the jump jet variant or of some other variant courtesy f-35 does have a 22 million -- variant. the f-35 does of a 22 millimeter cannon. anybody you talk about will say if the a-10 is a perfect, close air support type weapon, let's be clear this cannon -- the plane was built around the cannon. the plane has quad redundancy. the eyelid system, the titanium bathtub, it can take a norm is amount of damage. it is a relatively inexpensive plane. the f-35 is not going to be a cheap plane.
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they fast-moving plan, a stealth plane. a well-placed rocket those speeds and negative environment can take a plan like that down. so yes, there are moments that you have to be very careful in how you use it. the air force believes that it can provide adequate if not good close air support to the battlefield, to the grunts on the ground, with an f-35. they have done it previously with f-16's, which are also fast movers. they do not loiter the way that a-10's. if you are in the acquisition world, they say don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good. in some cases, you may find that in the short term, the air force may settle on the f-35 that is not perfect but is good. host: we have steve o'brien,
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vice president of lockheed martin, who talked about the cost overrun, the delays, we will get what he said, get your response. [video clip] >> we understand to make the flight test, but the program is on track, just as the secretary of defense and said in front of congress recently. we are driving the price down. from the first year of production to the 70 or of production, we have reduced the cost of the airplane by over 55%. we are not satisfied there. we will continue to drop this price. in 2018, the average cost will be $85 million, about $75 million in today's dollars. that is in line with older generation airplanes. we will be at the quantum leap and capability. we are focused on reducing the
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cost, we have been on track for the last three years, and we are continuing to focus as we go forward to reduce it to about the same price as a fourth- generation or prior generation played out there today with a quantum leap capability. host: analyze what he said. guest: first of all, and washington, you always have to be careful because people make comparisons that are apples and oranges and often times they will do that, it won't be necessarily incorrect, but it won't necessarily reflect a true big picture. what he is saying is they have made improvements after the program goals have been severely adjusted. if you take the baseline of when it first started to today, it is not doing very well. but if you take the new baselines after reorganization of the program, it has definitely shown some leveling. the government accountability office used the term "leveling," the manufacturing processes, the certain ways they go about doing business, they are starting to get control.
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the argument sort of like you have a 10 story building, and all 10 floors were on fire before, now you have got it down to only three floors are on fire, and you say that is a great improvement. but three floors are still on fire. there is still a significant risk. we're going to buy 289 of these planes at a cost of almost $60 billion, and the flight test program would have the -- what have you been completed. that is anonymous -- an enormous commitment. one of the things senator durbin, who is chairman of the senate defense appropriations subcommittee, he is basically the top defense appropriator in the senate on these issues raised the concern about this
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program and said one of the problems with this program has always been optimism has been an enemy of the program. optimism on the front and begins to look like you are optimistic with intent. if you could say every thing is great, at some point you are committed. for instance, it was the top acquisition at the pentagon is that if you are to cancel this program and launch a new one, you have to spend $20 billion to $30 billion to develop a new plan. you would be starting from ground zero. the cost would be enormous. it is always cheaper to go with what you have got. than what you don't have your to the bird in the hand. -- don't have. the bird in the hand. it is a really deeply flawed program and beyond anything you have ever seen before. given the fact that three services are tied in, this is the largest acquisition program in history, the most costly in history. he is going to try to say positive things. he has reason to feel good. the program is beginning to level, but he is not going to talk to you about the challenges
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that they face, software, web and integration, systems integration, all the things they are wrestling with. this is a 13-year-old program and they still have design changes that they are having on this plane. it is a good thing that they have been able to -- the joint program office head is a military issue and says we have been able to identify 50 of the most likely parts on his jet that will fail, and we are now working those quality issues. we also have found the 50 systems on your that are -- on here that are most difficult to prepare. over time, things will improve, but he that come at an inn or ms. cost. -- an enormous cost. host: coming in at $837 billion. guest: right. that is something they have said will begin to happen. it is a welcome thing because 1.1 trillion dollars was just politically on acceptable to
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anybody. whether it was dod or the congress. furthermore, even if sequestration does not occur again in 2014, the numbers for defense are going to be really flat and really austere for the next 10 years. they can't afford anymore cost increases, and they most certainly need to create as much more room as they can in this program as far as cost go because there is not going to be the money. host: bob on our democrat line. good morning. caller: good morning. i have a couple of issues with this. first of all, i understand that the parts are made in 50 different states. which tells me that it was designed with an idea toward congress rather than an idea toward doing something efficient. the other thing that i wonder
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about, as i understand it, most fighter planes never even see the target that they are shooting at because they're so far away, and they are shooting with controlled rockets and things like that. why do we need to have a manned plane to do this? if you consider how much it costs to ensure the survivability of the pilot in terms of the oxygen supplies and everything else that has to be done and ejection seats and all of these things, it would be a lot cheaper to put together a drone with the same capabilities that without the pilot inside. host: caller, thank you. guest: you make some fascinating points and that you are absolutely right that there are some real questions as to whether or not an unmanned drone or unmanned, remotely piloted type aircraft could do some of these missions. remember that we have not really developed a remotely piloted vehicle that can fly in these profiles yet.
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when we talk about predator and reaper drones that fire hellfire missiles, they are very slow moving, they loiter over these things for a long periods of time. they operate under a permissive environments. when you're talking about a high-performance fighter that can fly up to nine g's, for example, at speeds of up to mock too, and can surge even faster than that in some cases, the profiles are different. plus sometimes having a man in the loop is an important aspect of combat missions that still is of enough concern that you would want to have them there. there are datalink issues that go on with these kind of things, the performance environment is severe. there are some people that argue that the f-35 may be the last
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manned fighter of this kind that the united states will ever build because we will be able to jump over those hurdles that pre--- or venice from creating those unmanned aerial vehicles that can do these missions. certainly the technology's maturing. the targeting behind visual rant, we have been doing that for a very low long time. but having that person there to identify targets to change, to recognize, to have the versatility, intellectual versatility to recognize changes in the combat environment, sometimes having the person there is incredibly valuable. host: one thing i read over over was when it comes to the millions of lines of computer code, talk about having so much reliance on a computer background. guest: this is not a plane where first of all if a playlet -- if a pilot is thinking about flying
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a plane, some of it is insignificant but a lot of controls are automated. so just the flight controls themselves, there is an enormous amount of computer controls involved in making the plane fly. there are all these different integrated systems that must work together, sensors that tell you where things are, even to the degree of how fast you are flying, where are you in space and time, all of these things are so incredibly sophisticated. the weapons themselves and the employment of the weapons in the targeting of that are situational awareness into these fighters. there is so much going on that you need the computers in the background to manage the information flow for the pilot. that would be there whether he was an unmanned vehicle because the guy back or woman back at base is still flying in these
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environments. they may not have the physical demand of it, but the intellectual demands are all there. so many data points are coming in that you need systems to help you manage all of that. so it is a very sophisticated, very difficult environment to operate. you only have your very best people doing it. host: our line for those retired or active military. good morning. caller: good morning. i have got a quick question -- who is footing the bill for all of this new technology? i understand he is talking about the agents of the program, developing this fighter. at the same time, lockheed martin is talking about we are working to bring the price down of this fighter. why he is working to bring the price down, the u.s. government is still paying money for them to develop this thing. now here they are fixing to buy this plane that is not completely -- i'm not going to say war worthy, but not completely finished. it is going to be sitting on the fire line, and at the same time, they are going to be repairing this plane, upgrading this plane on the fire line.
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where is all this money coming from geico they -- from? before he was speaking about social security and disability, the taxpayers are footing this bill. who is footing this bill? to the tune of how many billions you are speaking of. guest: it is always interesting to see the emergence of outrage and some of these programs because it is monopoly money. the costs are so enormous. the taxpayer is footing the bill to a great degree. but there are phases in the program, we have been through largely a development phase. the development phase never existed before and comes with enormous risks. the only way you will get a contractor to launch into the program is of the government who is asking the contractor to take these technologies and turn it into something, the government assumes a great deal of the
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risks during the development ross the spirit of the government oftentimes his response over cost growth in these programs because they continually add new requirements. they asked the contracts to make changes and add new capabilities. so the government has been complicit. your defense department has been complicit in the cost growth. not just the contractor who is at fault. the contractor also is there's a certain degree of blame for the cost growth. we are moving into phases where we buy lots of fighters from lockheed, groups of fighters of the f-35 from lockheed martin. we are moving into a world where the costs are fixed. we will say we will buy 29 aircraft, and the costs is a fixed price contract and we negotiate with lockheed martin on what that price will be. anything that goes beyond that rise within a certain window, and it is a relatively small one, the contractor begins to assume the cost. so the incentive shifts to the
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contractor to find ways to drive those costs down. so that is an important aspect. but you are most definitely footing that bill. the taxpayer pays for these things, or the government borrows them to have the taxpayer to have a for these things. go back on the other caller, by the way, i forgot to mention this. he talked about marketing the plane essentially is being built in 50 different states. it is between what he seven and 50 states. what that does me no is that each one of the -- between 47 and 50 states. what the that does mean is that each senator has an interest. lockheed martin has gotten good at marketing the things. in a major way when the b-2 bomber, they realize the supplier base was scattered across the united states, they would have the rallies of lawmakers there to defend their program. i think chris deferred, a former congressman from connecticut, had said that if you have 10 senators on board a weapons program, it is a greatly difficult if not impossible to
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cancel that program. if you have 100 or 90 lawmakers in the senate on board with this weapon system, it is simply not going to go away. there will always be opportunities to continue that program. host: how long before we see these jets in day to day activity? guest: they are talking about initial operating capability is in the mid-20's. 2015 to 2018 or something like that. they're going to need to shake these things out. once they have the weapons, once they have it together and they start actually doing combat, it will take some time. he took a number of years for the f-22 as well. host: republican line, good morning. caller: i have several point i would like to make. number one is they could cancel that program, and there is a
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replacement aircraft, that boeing built and lost the competition to lockheed. i spent 40 years in this industry, and i understand the cost plus program. it seems to me that lockheed is incompetent. i don't think they really are in compliance to what our needs are. it is based on the profit of the company, and i will give you an example. the 787 was a new technology developed by the boeing company, and we ate the cost for the development of that airplane. matter of fact, i think they produce -- they have to produce the 800 before they even make a profit. why can't we do that with lockheed? guest: we have begun to do that with lockheed. see the ones that are being purchased right now are going to be on a fixed price, so if there are cost overruns, they will eat the costs. in development, that is a much
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more risky prospect. they did not work that program that way. i am also not entirely on board with your claim that boeing could just turn around and take what was a prototype and suddenly be able to displace the f-35. the f-35 isn't so much further along in development. remember, the prototype f-35 is nothing like the play we are flying right now even. boeing would have to -- with its plan, whatever that might be, would have to go through an entire development process,, with a machine tooling, go through the flight testing, go through the changes, and all the things that go on. let's incorporate all the different requirements that have changed since boeing has left the program here to remember, the air force, navy, marine corps -- they all agreed on a certain type of plane when they signed onto it. shortly thereafter, they'll begin to work to give back all of those technologies they lost in the compromise. for example, they were initially going to build these plans and
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only have maybe four different types of weapons that it would employ from the outset. that number grew significantly over time where you had suddenly dozens of different types of weapons that they were saying they can incorporate. each weapon cost something like $800 million or so to incorporate. software technology, integration systems come all the things that go on. this is not an easy thing. you cannot go back and say let's pick up this one because it is so mature. it is not a mature program that boeing had. host: a twitter question -- will we sell the f-35 to russia and china? my question on top of that is what will they perceive? guest: we will never sell to those countries. we view them as a better competitoras countries. we view them as alliances and some whispered we have friendly relations, but we are also competitors with those nations. we are very disturbed by the fact that russia and china have developed their own stealth aircraft. they are very early in their
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development programs as well. there is a belief -- there was a time, or there was a belief that china had hopped into -- had hacked into lockheed martin's computers. those are allegations that have never been proven, but the fact of the matter is we would never give in those technologies. there are a lot of technologies out there that we will not give the f-35 two. we would remind rather sell them f-16's. -- we would much rather sell them f-16's. we will not give every nation a fully loaded f-35. some planes have boxes that are locked that that country cannot actually touch. they would to go to lockheed martin or go through a u.s. vendor to be able to work with those technologies. host: roderick, independent line. caller: thank you. i enjoy watching c-span. i'm a veteran of eight years. two tors in afghanistan. first of all, what we have going
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on right here and everything he is talking about, military, industrial complex, get as much money from the taxpayer as possible. even if this product is awfully available yet, and the amount of money the guy is saying is staggering to me. i like to bring up the money parts, specifically for republican friends, nice to be a republican. everybody wants to -- and i used to be a republican. everybody talks about how the poor people are the scourge of our nation. it is the guys in charge of lockheed martin. and for the reporter, do you feel any role in the raping of the taxpayer with these programs? you are our watchdog, we are dependent on you, you are the free press. there is an amendment to make sure you are there to watch with these guys are doing. this platform being built in 50 different states you have 50 senators or 50 representatives' hands in a jar, that breeds
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corruption. guest: you know, you make a very good point, and i make a point of going back and reading eisenhower's speech on the military-industrial conflict when he was leaving his presidency behind. we do see evidence of the so- called self-licking cohn here. you have a defense department that represents more than half of our discretionary budgets, the budget that the congress passes every year, to run our government. more than 50% of it is defense department-related spending, even with the declines in spending on a depression or a site -- on the discretionary side. the defense department gets a big amount of money. it is the biggest guy in town. it invests money with contractors to take that money and turnaround and are able to lobby congressmen and senators on their behalf. they set of political pac's, they set up all kinds of things with the new supreme court
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ruling. money apparently it's a speech that also gives some of these people more power. my colleagues and myself have written dozens and dozens of stories. i have been through just in the last year knowing i was coming on this program this morning, just recently going through everything i have written on the f-35 in the last two years. i've been told by staff -- i wrote a cover story two years ago, i was told by staffers that that cover story, because it uncovered it, really pull together all the problems of this program over the last 12 years or so and even before and laid it out as to how this thing sort of came to be. it was passed around through congressional offices. i know because i know people over there. the fact of the matter is or has been a lot of writing about these things. there is a lot of money at play. a lawmakers -- it is not just
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the money that they get for their campaigns. it is the jobs that these things create in the communities. it is interesting when you juxtapose, you hear some people saying publicly-funded jobs like teachers, firefighters, policemen, things like that, that those people may be on the dole, i remember being on the show and having a caller say we should go to the pentagon and cap every fourth person and they go home. frankly that may happen next year. a lot of these people are public servants. it is a very difficult people in public jobs that will lose those jobs. -- it is a very difficult mix. in essence they are government- funded jobs. it becomes an in or mislead -- an enormously powerful tool to say we are going to lose 1.1 million jobs in the defense sector. highly skilled people who will move on it will not be able to
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be reclaimed if there is a war that we need to do the kinds of assistance we need to win a war. when you have that national security thing on your side, a lot of money will get spent and a lot of leeway is given. it is definitely a challenge pretty taxpayers and voters need to be vigilant. they need to hold lawmakers accountable. this program happened largely during the wars in iraq and afghanistan. a lot of lawmakers will tell you they lost sight of the ball. they are very concerned about what was going on in iraq, very concerned later about afghanistan. and they just lost sight of some of these programs and they made some significant errors. there were also some errors made -- i don't mean to filibuster this one question, in the acquisition process, and a 1990's, it became very cool to
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suddenly turn prison -- terminate acquisition professionals in the benetton because they were bureaucrats. i keep using quotes because these were the terms to slander people, bureau cat is a printer returns -- eurocrats is a perjury to have term -- bureaucrat is a perjorative term. for 10 years, it seemed to be very cool to call those people out of a we are saving money because we don't have these bureaucrats taking money. now, the trend is more toward bolstering the acquisition workforce because you need professionals and highly sophisticated programs that are worth sometimes billions or over the life of this one, trillions of dollars. you need to have people who really understand what is going on or else the contractor will make a military professional who is in this job for two years and then he is gone. at the end of the two-year cycle through a program office, he has just become expert in what is going on and then he or she is
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gone. and then they put a new neophyte in. that is not a fair fight. you have professional acquisition people in the spirit becomes more of a fair fight, you'll get more bang for your buck. host: what happens once lockheed delivers the planes? will they also get the country to update them and maintain them? guest: in some cases they might, but that is another thing that the program manager cited as a way to drive down costs in the future is to begin to compete. these different service contracts. don't think of a fighter as a singular thing. a fighter has certain types of actuators that uses pure to that is probably produced by one contractor or a couple. if you get a couple that compete, the cost of that actuator will decline. over a 60-year lifetime, you will see where those conditions competitions happen. you may think that is a high- performance jet that is landing at a couple hundred miles an hour hitting pretty good tires. you begin to see where you can start to drive down costs on all
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these individual systems, certain hydraulic systems that might be there, certain types of avionics that my beater, certain radars. even within the radars, there are components that go all the way down to the most basic things. if they can compete all those different things, and develop a global supply chain where it is globally competed, you can see where they might save money. host: for frank oliveri, here is richard. caller: the thing is ridiculous. we have the drugs, and you have got the a-10. to fight a guy with an ak-47, it is ridiculous. we have a think setting up your just like -- sitting up here, they spend billions of dollars on its. -- on it. how many troops did they put on the ground to already fight a war? host: let's squeeze in one more call.
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kelly on the independent line. caller: congress or the senate had their eyes on the war, their eyes on the ball, i think they dropped the bombs on the war. i guess i have a concern if someone is overseeing everything that the taxpayers are paying for, and i would include the production line and the robotics, the computers, everything. anything we have paid for, we also get in addition to the planes. my comment is, i think there is a lot of people in washington that are benefiting from the stocks that they own in this company. i would like to see if any country like this go to companies that are not allowed to be traded on the stock market because they are making millions just announcing that there needs to be a change. then the stock drops and it
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comes back up. insider tips on this -- it is just wrong. guest: it is certainly true that it is an enormously incestuous community. people of interest on the community, they all interact, they all know each other, they in some cases will go to work for each other when they leave. there are military people who over time will begin to sit on boards of lockheed martin and boeing and other major defense contractors. there are congressional people here who become lobbyists or they end up sitting on boards for major contracting firms. certainly over time they have made and had family members. some of the sisters are-- districts are relatively small, and some a relatively big. if there is a defense facility
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or contractor, some of these lawmakers have family members that may in fact be associated in some way or another. they try to watch carefully these quick row quotes. it is a very difficult -- quid pro quos. it is a very difficult thing. they spent time tracking these. they set it up so they do not necessarily know what their interest are. but the generally speaking, people do have some idea. the defense contractors are not making millions, as you point out, they are probably making billions. there are enormous problems. you also made the point about whether they oversaw the iraq and afghanistan wars very well. that again is a debatable point. on the right, they might say that they oversaw it well during the bush years and things were going as best as they could. democrats might make a counter argument. there are certainly a whole lot of discussions we can have a go well beyond this show as to the performance of congress on these issues. i would say that on some level, congress is complicit, on some level congress may not have the capacity to deal with the kind of oversight questions.
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congress over the years and cutbacks and xavier to try to save money in some ways, -- in cutbacks, to try to save money in some ways, they do not have the office anymore and they cut it back. defense has been severely cut back. sequestration has hit these committees as well. some of the armed services committees are down 10, 12, 15 positions. you have people who are working be committees who have portfolios that are suddenly enormous because they do not have the manpower. there are some serious problems here. all these cutbacks are hindering government's ability to run itself. that also becomes an issue. it is very cool, like i said, to cut back on the government, but these are people who are there to protect the taxpayers' interests. host: i'll guest writes for cq roll call, frank oliveri, thank on the next time.>>
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"washington journal," we will look at how small businesses and view the economy with national small business association president todd mccracken. then we continue our series on the healthcare law with a discussion on how some employers are adjusting to the law while also trying to control healthcare costs. a conversation on the latest air-traffic technology with jared billingham, director of civil aviation issues for the government accountability office. that plus your calls live on "washington journal" live at 7:00 a.m. eastern here on c- span. see the lossant to of print journalism. i am frustrated when i see the loss of so much state and local jurors -- journalism, what is happening in city councils, because a lot of this national journalism is not as good if you do not have the local journalism.
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a lot of what i do is watching, state storiesand to see what is happening at that level and figuring out how it is bubbling up to the national level. if there are not people on the ,round doing that sort of work i think national journalism suffers quite a bit. i really hope that someone figures out a way to keep that sustainable and keep those people in place. we are going to see a lot more social media. people do not necessarily go to the websites of news outlets quite as much, but they simply see stories being shared by others, by what their friends are talking about, and news goes that way rather than you go to these four websites. center forgger to american progress to managing editor at the huffington post, shapingerkel on what is modern journalism, tonight at 8:00 on c-span's "q&a." next on c-span, "newsmakers"
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with democratic national committee chair debbie wasserman schultz. then oklahoma senator tom coburn holding a town hall meeting. later "q&a" with amanda terkel. >> this week on "newsmakers" debbie wasserman schultz chair of the democratic national committee. in the studio we have karen tumulty at the "washington post" and charlie babington. if i could begin why you are in arizona. the dnc is meeting for their fall meeting. what will you be voting? >> we will be talking about the four key pillars that the democratic national party will focus on over the next election cycle and beyond. those are making sure that we can train and recruit the next generation of political leaders.
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